ATLANTA–Georgia State University has collaborated with national education researchers and leaders to improve the availability of research into the effectiveness of educational technologies so decision-makers can make responsible, informed choices before investing in new technology.
Georgia State participated in the EdTech Efficacy Research Symposium, led by the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education, the Jefferson Education Accelerator and Digital Promise in May.
More than $13.2 billion is spent annually in the United States on new educational technology – including taxpayer dollars that fund education, as well as tuition and fees paid to colleges and universities.
Policy makers need to have better data to ensure the money is spent wisely on effective technology to support teaching and learning, but symposium participants found that there is a lack of such research.
Georgia State’s Vice Provost for Enrollment Services and Student Success, Timothy M. Renick, delivered a keynote address to the symposium’s 275 participants, highlighting the importance of technology and data-informed research in Georgia State’s elimination of achievement gaps based on the race, ethnicity and income level of students. His working group looked at the role students, teachers, parents and others play in technology decision-making with educational institutions.
“The example of Georgia State illustrates the importance of using data to document the impact of student-success innovations,” Renick said. “Through the dissemination of data-based research, we influence decision-makers and greatly accelerate the use of innovative approaches to supporting students nationally.”
The efforts by symposium participants will ultimately aid in understanding the effectiveness of educational technology by sharing strategies and moving past barriers to conducting research.
“The event was the first-ever convening of stakeholders around the issues of efficacy research and the importance of elevating merit over marketing in educational technology decision-making,” said Curry School Dean Robert C. Pianta. “With a better understanding of stakeholder perspectives and the barriers to collecting and using evidence of efficacy, we can now move to discussing the dozens of potential solutions raised for consideration by the symposium participants.”
To read the paper written by Renick’s working group, visit http://curry.virginia.edu/symposium/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/WG-I-Edtech-User-Voice_FINAL.pdf. Working group reports are available at http://curry.virginia.edu/symposium/reports.